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The shortlist reflects a wide range of innovative forms and compelling voices.

Funded by the Florence Staniforth Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, the prize is for students from any discipline studying at Lucy Cavendish College. Students are invited to submit a short story to a panel of judges led by Fellow Emerita Dr Isobel Maddison. Also on the panel this year are Lucy Cavendish Fellow and English DoS Dr Alex Freer, Creative Writing Tutor, Writer and Teacher Miranda Doyle, and Author and Scholar Padma Viswanathan.

2022 shortlist

  • Adele Rickerby - The Best Time to Swim
  • AC Gray - If Only I Had Known
  • Sana Balagamwala - Taxi
  • Rebecca Stoll - Oneirology
  • Amy MacGinley - The Canary

Meet the students

Adele Rickerby

Adele Rickerby is a Master of Studies in Creative Writing student at the Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge and a proud Lucy Cavendish college member. Adele has been writing and performing creatively for many years. She trained as an actor at the National Theatre in Melbourne, Australia and worked in both theatre and film & television as an actor and writer. In 2015, she moved with her husband to Germany, where he is pursuing his career as an opera singer and Adele took up an administrative position at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. She recently had two pieces of flash fiction selected for publication in the Bath Flash Fiction festival’s 2021 Ad Hoc Anthology, due to be published shortly. She is delighted to be shortlisted for the Florence Staniforth Student Fiction Prize 2022.

AC Gray

Aidan Gray grew up in India, Poland, Azerbaijan, Mexico, and the US. He received a BA from Princeton University where he studied Creative Writing. After an MPhil from Trinity College, Dublin, Aidan worked briefly as a teacher, before coming to Cambridge, where he is currently writing a dissertation on the anthropology of nonhumans with the faculty of Classics. Aidan is involved in student theatre as a playwright, actor, and director, and is a proud member of the Blackbirds poetry society.

Sana Balagamwala

Sana Balagamwala grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. She has a BA in English from the University of Southern California, and a MA in Education from Loyola Marymount University. English is her second language. Her debut novel, House Number 12, Block Number 3 was published by Hidden Shelf Publishing House in 2021. Sana loves old buildings, avoids lizards, and appreciates a good cup of coffee. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is currently working towards her MSt. in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge.

Rebecca Stoll

Rebecca Stoll was born and raised in Innsbruck, a university city in the Austrian Alps. As a teenager she discovered her love for stories and language, and eventually found herself moving to the UK to study English Literature and Philosophy at Edinburgh University. She then earned a Masters in Creative Writing from St Andrews. Currently she is studying for a MPhil in Renaissance Literature, which is really just an excuse to visit dusty archives and work with old books. She likes to spend her free time with her head stuck in some fictional world or other, be it novels, films, or video games. On rare occasions you may see her cycling around Cambridge in search of its impressive duck population. She loves folk music and is an unabashed Grecophile.

Amy MacGinley

Amy MacGinley studies Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Lucy Cavendish as a mature undergraduate. After leaving behind an acting career, she took up creative writing as a long-forgotten, sane-making hobby. She has written a couple of articles for Varsity and loves dissecting her longer works with the 'Failed Novelists of Cambridge'. Otherwise, she likes volunteering in mental health, flailing around in commercial dance classes and squealing over strangers' dogs.

The winner, announced at the Fiction Prize award ceremony on the 26th of May, will be awarded a £100 prize.

Padma Viswanathan comments, “What a privilege and delight to be among the judges for the Florence Staniforth Fiction Prize! Lucy Cavendish College's diverse talent pool gave us good reading but hard choices, occasioning a lively and searching conversation. I hope the College community enjoys our selections as much as we did.”

Chair of judging panel Dr Isobel Maddison says, “The 2022 prize attracted greater numbers of entries than previous years and the prize goes from strength to strength. Congratulations to our shortlisted authors. The standard is high, and the judges were impressed with the breadth of subjects and the nuanced writing. Five wonderful short stories.”

Dr Alexander Freer adds, “This has been an outstanding year for the Florence Staniforth Prize and the panel enjoyed the wide range of innovative forms and compelling voices. Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers!”

Read more about the judges here.